URGENT: Please sign today to help save the Centennial AME Zion Church!
  • Petitioned Mayor Sophie Heymann and the Council of Closter, NJ

This petition was delivered to:

Mayor, Closter, NJ
Mayor Sophie Heymann and the Council of Closter, NJ
Council member, Closter, NJ
John Kashwick
Council member, Closter, NJ
Alissa Latner
Council member, Closter, NJ
Arthur Dolson
Council member, Closter, NJ
David Barad
Council member, Closter, NJ
Victoria Amitai
Council member, Closter, NJ
John Glidden

URGENT: Please sign today to help save the Centennial AME Zion Church!

    1. Amy Heller
    2. Petition by

      Amy Heller

      Harrington Park, NJ

The Centennial AME Zion Church in Closter, NJ was founded by freed slaves in 1894, the church is one of the few tangible reminders of the vital black communities that lived in the area, including the historically important black township of Skunk Hollow. The town Planning Board has voted against landmark status for the church, leaving this beautiful and important building vulnerable to local development planners. We want to insure that this great church is not razed to provide more parking spaces for retail stores.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. African-American church in Closter may soon become a landmark

      Amy Heller
      Petition Organizer

      Our effort to save the church is starting to make news! Reverend Collins and local historians are quoted and the mayor of Closter said "We got a huge number of petitions asking us to further this. Everyone recognizes its historic value." So please keep sharing the petition with friends, colleagues, students and friends!

    2. We're on Facebook!

      Amy Heller
      Petition Organizer

      Here's another way to learn updates on the progress of the effort to get landmark status for Centennial AME Zion Church--and to add your own thoughts, memories and suggestions too!

    3. Reached 500 signatures
    4. Good news from the Closter meeting of the Mayor and Council

      Amy Heller
      Petition Organizer

      I wanted to let you know that at a celebratory meeting tonight, Tuesday March 14, the mayor and council of Closter, NJ unanimously voted to move the preservation process along!

      They overruled the planning board's concerns and authorized the borough attorney to prepare the preservation ordinance to be introduced at the next meeting. After that they hold a public hearing, and finally, they will vote on preservation status for the church. There are a few steps to go, but today's meeting was wonderful--and featured inspired speeches by Reverend Collins and a descendent of the freed slaves who founded the church.

      So, let's keep the petition going strong. Several council members remarked on the flood of emails they are getting. We have their attention, let's encourage them to remain steadfast. Please continue to post, tweet, blog and email this petition. And thank you so much for helping (a lot!) to preserve this beautiful and important church.

    5. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • JULIO CABEZAS SADDLE BROOK, NJ
      • over 2 years ago

      ITS WOULD BE CONSIDERED A LANDMARK IN HISTORY THAT SHOULD NOT BE TOUCHED FOR GENERATIONS TO REMEMBER OUR BEGININGS

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • jacqueline britton BALTIMORE, MD
      • over 2 years ago

      we need to save as much of our hertiage as possible. our children know so little about our past.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Brenda Pinkett RANDALLSTOWN, MD
      • over 2 years ago

      This is a historical landmark and should be preserved for African American historhy. For too long we have been written out of American History, do not raze this church, it is easy to build around it.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kenneth Moore BERGENFIELD, NJ
      • over 2 years ago

      We should do all we can to preserve our past and not let it be bulldozed into a parking lot or some other insignificant thing.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Claudia Smith TEANECK, NJ
      • over 2 years ago

      A friend asked me to sign. I know a Closter resident who, proud of the town's history, has signed herself and feels the church must be preserved. Having a particular affinity for churches, being a lover of history and, to date, a poor advocate of local issues, I must confess this debate touched my heart. I would hate to see a building that represents a rich ethnic history that has been maintained through the years leveled for yet another parking lot. I hope that the powers that be in Closter make the developers figure out another way to advance their business objectives. Sometimes, the preservation of the human spirit requires that beauty and esthetics simply must trump commerce.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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